500 Startups Names Courtney Powell As COO

By Noah Long ● July 30, 2019
  • Early-stage investor and seed accelerator 500 Startups announced it appointed Courtney Powell as COO

Early-stage investor and seed accelerator 500 Startups announced the appointment of Courtney Powell as Chief Operations Officer (COO). Powell is also known as a 500 Startups “Batch 4” founder as the CEO of PublikDemand and she most recently served as Head of Corporate Development at Keller Williams.

As COO, Powell is going to lead day-to-day operations and drive initiatives to scale 500 Startups’ global business. And she will lead the VC firm’s expansion into new business lines and regional markets. Plus 500 Startups credits Powell’s expertise with franchise models and her first-hand experience as a 500 founder as key factors in her hiring. 

“I share 500’s most sacred belief that talent exists everywhere, but opportunity does not,” said Powell in a statement. “Our mission is to invest in world-class founders and create thriving ecosystems all over the world. In addition to a global commitment, I’ve come home to 500 because their commitment to diversity and inclusion on both sides of the founder/investor table has been sincere and evident since my time in Batch 4 back in 2012. My experience founding companies and raising money as a female, and young mother outside of Silicon Valley, opened my eyes to the adversity many face when doing the same. 500 was a beacon of hope to me as a founder, and now, I’m ecstatic to join 500 in bringing opportunity to great founders all over the world.”


While previously working at Keller Williams, Powell established the company’s first corporate innovation program. And she also acted as a liaison for Keller Capital thus helping the investment arm acquire real-estate-focused technology companies. And during her tenure, Keller Williams expanded from a brokerage firm to a technology company. Plus Powell has also sat on the SXSW advisory board since 2017.

Across 500 Startups’ 21 global funds, it has invested in over 2,200 companies. And its team members of more than 100 people are located in 20 places around the world in support of its global portfolio of investments spanning more than 76 countries. Some of the notable portfolio companies under 500 Startups include Twilio, Credit Karma, SendGrid (acquired by Twilio), Grab, GitLab (acquired by Microsoft), Bukalapak, Canva, Udemy, TalkDesk, The Real Real, Intercom, Ipsy, MakerBot (acquired by SSYS), Wildfire (acquired by Google), and Viki (acquired by Rakuten).